Feast of St. Blaise celebrated in Brussels

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In front of the Cathedral of St. Michel et Gudule in Brussels, Feast of St. Blaise was celebrated for the 4th time. The organiser of the celebration was Matica Hrvatska in Brussels in cooperation with the representative office of Dubrovnik Neretva region, the Croatian Tourist Board and the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia in the Kingdom of Belgium. About a hundred persons from Dubrovnik along with their guests attended the beginning of the Feast of St. Blaise. Same as in Dubrovnik, the organisers of the celebration had previously made a proclamation signed by hosts Zvonimir Batarilo and Davor Vnučec.

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After the Croatian hymn, hymns to freedom and Hymns of St. Blaise, the have read a proclamation in Croatian, French and English. Proclamation was read to the celebrants, doyen of the Cathedral of. Claude Castiaud, after which the white doves were released, as a symbol of freedom and peace. Commemorative gifts and doves of peace were brought by girls who came to the Fest dressed in national costume from Konavle.
The flag of St. Blaise and the Croatian flag were worn by Božo Butigan and Tonči Duplica. After the opening of the Festival a traditional religious ceremony called ‘grlicanje’ or The Blessing of the Throats was also organised. Previous to this part, representative of Dubrovnik neretav region Hrvoje Butigan had read a letter from the Bishop of Dubrovnik, Msgr. Mate Uzinic written to the people of Dubrovnik who live in Belgium. People in Brussels tried the menu with hamand cheese, „sporki makaruli“ and rozata.

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Festival of St. Blaise in Brussels ended with a lecture of Ms. Nancy Von Breska-Ficović "St. Blaise and the golden age of Dubrovnik painting" at the Croatian Embassy in Belgium.
The presentation included the period of the golden age of Dubrovnik painting from the 15th and 16th centuries. The lecture was attended by Croatian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium Mario Nobilo, Croatian representative in the EU Parliament Željana Zovko and other representatives of the EU institutions and regions.

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